Mulled Sobolo/Bissap/Zobo/Hibiscus Drink

As a non-alcoholic drinker, I sometimes feel left out during Christmas parties where mulled wine is served. So at home I always make mulled juice with mulled apple juice being my favourite. This year, I thought, there’s got to be a change from apple. During my summer holidays in Ghana, I had the opportunity to once again taste different Sobolo drinks. They all tasted slightly different depending on the recipe used. So I looked back at my recipe posted some couple of months ago and I thought, hmmm, I could create various versions. So as the thought of mulled juice came to mind, I thought, wow essentially Sobolo is a mulled drink! Why not make it Christmassy by adding clementines or oranges, plus cinnamon, star anise, cloves and Grains of Selim (cloves and grains of Selim are traditionally used). So I tried it and it was wonderful. My first version was with oranges and it was so good. I will entreat you to make it as fruity and as spice infused as you want.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Cup Dried Hibiscus Powder or 1 Cup Leaves
  • 1 Medium Sized Pineapple (the peel & core)
  • 3 Clementine’s (Tangerines) or 2 Oranges
  • 100g Fresh Ginger peeled
  • 2 litres plus 1 ½ Cups Water
  • 8 Cloves
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Hwentia (Grains of Selim)
  • 3 Star Anise
  • Sweetener of your choice e.g.: sugar syrup, honey or maple syrup

 

 

METHOD:

  1. Place the Hibiscus in a pot. If using the leaves wash to remove any dirt and pick out any wanted stems and leaves.
  2. Wash the pineapple and cut the skin off the pineapple ensuring that there is a bit of the pineapple flesh on the skin. Remove the core of the pineapple and add this including the peel to the pot.
  3. Slice the Clementines, keep the skin on.
  4. Cut up the ginger and blend with ½ cup of water. Add this to the pot. Rinse out the blender with 1 cup of water and add it to the pot.
  5. Add 2 litres of water to the pot and place the pot on the hob, turn on the heat and let the mixture boil for about an hour.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the drink steep to cool down. Leave it for some couple of hours or overnight.
  7. Once cooled, remove some of the clementines and pineapple, take out the pulp and place in a blender. Blend and add to the drink.
  8. Using a fine sieve strain the drink. Now add sweetener of your choice to taste. In my case I added sugar. If adding raw sugar, place the drink back on the hob and heat up to ensure all the sugar melts. Alternatively use sugar syrup. You may also do without the sweetener for a very healthy option.
  9. Serve the mulled Sobolo warm with slices of Clementine or chunks of pineapple. Equally it can be served chilled. Pair the mulled Sobolo with some Ghana chips or mini meat pies as a starter.
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